As a part of The Landscape data collection process, the Foundation also compiled a number of stories from community members who have been impacted by the focus areas. This is one of the stories that represent the lived experiences of people who reside in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
Lisa is an educator who grew up in poverty and was unable to read until the fourth grade. Now, she’s making a difference for students who experience the same challenges that she has overcome.
Prior to becoming the Executive Director of Elementary School Support and Supervision of the Omaha Public Schools (OPS), Lisa Utterback was the principal of Miller Park Elementary School. But before that, she grew up in a home environment of drugs, poverty, and neglect.
As a child, Lisa became resilient through the influence of a cherished mentor, athletics, and the safety and routine that the public school environment provided for her. As a principal, she led a school with high-risk students and low test scores to success, improving the culture and performance of both teachers and students. Now as a leader of OPS, she is passionate about getting each and every parent involved in their child’s education, erasing the stigmas that can follow children living in poverty, and helping all students to succeed no matter what they are facing at home.
Story and photo courtesy of Nebraska Loves Public Schools. To see more of what happens every day in our public schools, go to iloveps.org. ©Nebraska Loves Public Schools, Inc. 2017